A sample of diversity in recent TN political writing

State Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, on problems with the Achievement School District’s converting public schools into charter schools, in a Commercial Appeal op-ed:

It is no secret that education is the new business of choice by many businesspeople, and it appears that politicians are the facilitators for these profiteers and so-called saviors of America’s mostly minority and impoverished children.

While I do not have an issue with providing quality education for our children, I do have a major issue when it is driven by money versus the true crusade for better educational opportunities.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, promoting his successful effort to replace the federal No Child Left Behind Act in an op-ed piece as it appeared in the Times-Free Press.

Last year, campaigning for re-election, I said to Tennessee voters, “Give us a Republican majority in the United States Senate and we’ll repeal the federal Common Core mandate and reverse the trend toward a national school board.”

This week, Congress did just that and President Barack Obama signed it. The Wall Street Journal called our legislation fixing the 2001 No Child Left Behind law “the largest devolution of federal control to states in a quarter of a century.”

(Note: Maybe more interesting is Politico’s look at the inside Washington baseball involved in Alexander’s efforts.)

Robert Houk’s opening line in his latest column:

The Tennessee General Assembly officially returns to work in Nashville next month. God help us all.

Frank Cagle’s closing line in a column on the University of Tennessee’s lack of “institutional control,” as illustrated by the latest diversity kerfuffle:

A word of advice for the trustees: You can govern the university and exert institutional control, or the Legislature will do it for you.

Family Action Council of Tennessee’s David Fowler opines that the Legislature should, indeed, step in to stop the UT diversity doings:

To avoid student protests if UT’s Inclusion police are fired, UT is going to continue doing inane things that the public recoils at. After all, the Inclusion police have to do something if they’re going to get paid. They’ll come up with some more stuff like in the past. And UT officials will have to tromp down to the legislature every few months to apologize.

But that could stop if some legislative leaders would step in and do something to help them, such as telling Chancellor Cheek and the Inclusion police they can “voluntarily” resign or have their administration budget cut in half.

Excerpt from Mark Harmon’s satirical rewrite of the “Night Before Christmas” with the legislative uproar over UT diversity as a subject:

And then, in a twinkling, I saw on the tube
The braying and whining of each little rube.
As I shook my head and was turning around,
Down the chimney Ron Ramsey came with a bound.

He was tossing red meat, from all he’d been hearing.
He must act quickly, an election is nearing.
A bundle of threats he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a meddler all set to attack.

His eyes, how they squinted! His winces, so scary!
His stooges had joined him, like Moe, Curly, Larry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up in a pucker
As he played on the fears of each fawning sucker.

He was no jolly elf, nor one like Will Ferrell
And he would never don any gay apparel.
A gleam in his eye and a frown on his head
Soon gave me to know I had so much to dread.

The governor’s leash he held tightly you see,
Reminding all how he killed Insure Tennessee.
With no plans at all, his excuses were smelly,
His claims as shaky as a bowlful of jelly.